HBR recently released an interesting article regarding performing when it matters most. It was noted that certain individuals rise to the occasion when the pressure is on…even if a completely different approach needs to be taken. This article brings to mind a famous quote spoken by Duke Basketball’s legendary Coach K. He stated on multiple occasions that it was important “to make game day…your best day!”
In analyzing both the HBR article and this famous quote, it is obvious that practice and all of the efforts that are put into the big event cannot be discounted. It is actually just the opposite…realizing how important all of the preparation is as it leads up the main stage allows individuals to truly embrace the experience and use their “gut” instinct on whatever the stage may be…the game…the presentation…the pitch…the EVENT.
Performers understand that the game is won or lost during preparation. It is during this preparation that you are able to garner the innate confidence needed to perform at your best on game day.
A recent non-athletic example that relates to this topic can be seen through our country’s current leader. President Obama is someone that captures attention with his outstanding orator skills. During the 2008 election, he was able to take center stage during multiple debates.
What the public did not see, were the countless hours that President Obama put into preparing question answering, word selection, word emphasis, posture, hand gestures, and eye contact…anything that would be seen or analyzed was covered.
In the end, President Obama had the confidence to deliver his message to the public…and he rose to the occasion.